Just over a quarter century ago, Rajan was sports editor at Deccan Herald, Bangalore. On my first day at work, fresh out of university, I asked hesitantly, “Is it all right to smoke in here?” and was welcomed with the memorable words: “So long as you don’t f**k on my table, you can do what you want.” Rajan was friend, guide, philosopher and mentor to a bunch of talented youngsters who went on to make a name for themselves. At a recent Test match, someone calculated that the press box was filled with a good percentage of Rajan’s boys and one-time acolytes. All of them had been put through the Bala school of hard work, passion, respect for facts and endless debates over bottled stuff. All of us were inspired to feel extremely possessive about the game: if things went wrong we felt personally responsible. “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” Rajan was fond of quoting. Sixty-three is no age to die.